Nathaniel Cunningham, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Nathaniel Cunningham, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Physics
Department Chair
Department
Physics
Office location

133 Olin Hall of Science
(through department office Olin 134)

Office hours

Fall 2019:
Monday 3-4pm

Thursday noon-1pm

Friday 9-10am

I welcome an email or phone call to arrange another time.
My door is often open!

Phone

(402) 465-2494

Background

I fell in love with Physics in high school, and pursued it in college, where I also discovered philosophy. After agonizing about whether to continue my studies in physics or philosophy after graduation, physics won out, and I chose to specialize in astrophysics.

In my graduate work, I developed astronomical instruments, and used them to study the births and deaths of stars. I have since worked on detector systems for the high-power Diocles laser system the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and I currently study the surfaces and atmospheres of small bodies in the Solar System using ultraviolet light observed by the Hubble Space Telescope. Since 2007, I have contributed to NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto (and beyond!) and the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission that orbited a comet.

I joined the Physics faculty at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2010.

Education

Ph.D., Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder

M.S., Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder

B.S., Physics, University of Notre Dame, summa cum laude
Minor: philosophy

Courses taught

Astronomy
Introduction to Meteorology
Principles of Physics I & II / General Physics I & II
Introduction to Modern Physics
Mathematical Methods for Physics and Engineering
Electromagnetism & Optics
Classical Mechanics
Quantum Mechanics
Thermal and Statistical Physics

Course schedule

General Physics I
MWF 10am - noon

Mechanics
MWF 2-3pm,
Th 2-4pm

Advanced Lab / Independent Study:
Tu Th 9am-noon